A few days later, Mom came home, a tiny blue bundle in her arms. I cocked my head, not quite understanding why it seemed to wriggle every now and then. I was ignored most of the day, my confusion bringing me to tears every now and then. Eventually Ava found me crying out on the swing in the back yard. She carried me back into the house and did her best to distract me by making some cupcakes. By the time they’d cooled down and we’d decorated them, I’d forgotten all about the baby.
That was until I went to offer Mom a cake and found her sitting in the back yard, this tiny little pink thing attached to her chest. I stared at it, not quite sure what to think. It had a little tuft of hair on top of its head and made a sort of gurgley noise every now and then.
“Cayden, this is your little brother, Hadley” Mom said softly, beckoning me over.
The pink thing had released its grip on her chest and was now snuggled up in her arms. I peered over at it, still not entirely sure what to make of it. He yawned, shifting in Mom’s arms a little. He stared up at me, his hazel eyes home to a mix of curiosity and tiredness. He made one of those weird gurgley noises again and shut his eyes, apparently bored of the whole situation. How rude, I was gonna offer him a cake.
“Cayden, what are you doing?” Mom shouted.
I was stood on the third step on the staircase, bawling my eyes out. Little baby Hadley lay at the bottom of the stairs crying his eyes out as well.
“I’m sorry, Mummy, I didn’t mean to drop him” I wailed, holding my arms out for a hug.
She ignored me, though, choosing instead to pick up the screaming infant and yell for my father while trying to comfort Hadley. I started crying more at that. It was me that needed comforting, not him. I stumbled towards Mom, determined o get my hug. I clung to her leg but she shoved me off, snapping at me as Hadley kept crying. She strode off to find Dad, leaving me in tears by the stairs. The two of them dashed past me, rushing out of the front door. I heard the car start and drive off into the distance. Where were they going? Didn’t they love me anymore? I didn’t mean to drop him, I’d only wanted to show him the view from my bedroom window. It wasn’t my fault he wriggled around in my arms and I lost my grip on him.
Mom and Dad came back about an hour later. Hadley was asleep in Dad’s arms while I sat in the middle of the living room sniffling. They put Hadley to bed before sitting down with me and asking me, as softly as they could, just what exactly I’d been doing with Hadley. They seemed almost relieved when I told them and I finally got that hug I was after.